Monthly Archives: February 2012

After some floral confusion for a few days everything fell into place today.

I am not at all ready to let this go and wear a new fragrance tomorrow. I am in the middle of a love affair. So I am breaking the 11 days with Kilian and one fragrance per day rule. But this is my game so I can. I’ll be back with reflections around this liaison extra-ordinaire tomorrow.

I have a weakness for Iris. It is a scent that gives a fragrance immediate elegance and it quietly travels between confidence, politeness, reservation and kindness. Extrovert and disciplined one second, discreet and sophisticated the next. It is also a note that I love experiencing on different people and especially both men and women. Iris is so elegant, and so versatile. So I was looking forward to this.

This is a lovely fragrance. I can imagine that many people would feel very comfortable with it and that it would blend nicely with most body temperatures, skins, characters, textures. I think it would be very interesting on a masculine man. On me, it felt light and undemanding. I had a moment when it gave me associations with traveling in warm equatorial countries. Not because it smells like a warm equatorial country but because it is the kind of fragrance that you would feel comfortable and invigorated applying for dinner on a warm day. I also think it would be lovely with light clothes in linen and elegant sandals.

For me it was maybe a bit too light. I felt like I was searching for something that was not there and like it left me too soon. But like I said, this is a lovely fragrance. It works very well in a business context and does not demand attention. Also one of rather few interesting perfumes that would work very well at a dinner or lunch.

This is an unusual one. For a Kilian. It is less complex than what I associate with this perfume house and lacks some of that darksidedness. If I didn’t know this was a Kilian I wouldn’t have guessed… But then let’s be frank, I am not a tuberose type of girl. I generally don’t like florals (there are always exceptions and one should embrace the exceptions in life), they make me feel a bit uncomfortable. I could try to explain why but I won’t, it is a matter of compatibility. So, this is just very obviously not a fragrance for me. I find it very very pretty, but uninteresting. It is like absolutely nothing in me or on my skin reacts with this formula. Does this mean I think it is a bad perfume? Absolutely not. This is not a review, I don’t believe in perfume reviews. I am also sure there are many people who feel completely lifted and enchanted with this fragrance. If you like florals and are not into heavy scents, then this is a very elegant undemanding option.

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It is a man. I am sure of it. A tall man with integrity in corduroy. He has the fingers of a pianist and speaks of politics. It is a fragrance of an intellectual man, sharp and keeping the world at a distance. Not someone you hug. Someone you would really want to discuss the world with by a fireplace with some incredible cognac though.
Two hours later he is gone. He has left a veil of something that makes me think of Santa Maria Novella or a meeting between the clergy and herbs. But the man is replaced by a woman with strong attitudes and sharp features. She takes over a room. 
She stays for about an hour. Then enters a different person. Someone more subdued but confident. Much softer though. I envision a baroness from Veneto in masculine clothes and unruly hair. I like her. 
As day turns into evening the herbs are gone. Also the sharpness. What remains is a soft warm velvety vanilla. Where did they all go?

There is no other way to describe spring’s arrival in the Swedish capital than… shy. From an olfactory perspective you can feel it approaching as the air gets softer and sweeter. In the evening though it smells of Baltic winds and gravel. Hard and cold. But there is a scented cure for everything. Some time ago I received a collection of samples from Kilian and they have been waiting for their occasion ever since. The occasion is now. My plan is to go through them, one per day, and share my reflections with you. By the time I reach the eleventh one maybe spring will be here.

Kilian Hennessy, for those of you who are not familiar with this brand and man, is a perfume creator who is also the grandson of the founder of the LVMH group. This of course is not irrelevant, he was brought up in a family dedicated to cognac and early in life encountered the phrase ”angels’ share”, a term used to describe the percentage that for unknown reasons evaporates from cognac cellars. This was one of the things that led Kilian towards perfumery.

After writing a thesis on the semantics of odours he trained alongside the noses of Dior, Paco Rabanne, Armani and Alexander McQueen before eventually (2007) creating his own brand. I am an admirer. The fragrances are exquisite and the perfume house takes much more devoted care of its brand and fans than most competitors. Just look at the website, it is pure dedicated seduction.

So, back to my 11 Days With Kilian. Fragrance number one.

I have been wearing it for a couple of hours now and it is an adventure of the mind. It is sophisticated but has that dark side twist that all Kilian fragrances have. All kinds of associations come to mind… ceremonies or rituals. Druids? Yes, it sounds crazy I know but try hearing an aria from Norma in the back of your head. It is ceremonial in a very sensual carnal way, a mix of incense and leather. Some moments I can’t feel it on my skin anymore and I wonder where it went, then I make a slight movement and there it is. But like the scent of someone standing behind me rather than my own.  Spiritual. It is the scent of a temple. Perhaps not a physical one out of stone with pillars, but rather the one inside of you. 
Unfortunately, I am not sure this is a fragrance for me. It seduces me but it is not ”mine”. Fortunately… I had an instant association with someone else. And I think this could be a scent for that person. We will see.

Some time ago I received a selection samples from Kilian, one of my absolute perfume houses/creators. Each fragrance that wears this name is exquisite. But apart from that this is also a very exciting perfume house from brand perspective.

So what better way to welcome spring, I am thinking, than to enter it with these fragrances that were sent to me, one for each day. Today I will start with…

To quote Kilian: “A fragrance inspired by Rum, a life-giving alcohol blending the heat of Carribean islands.” Perfumer: Sidonie Lancesseur. This is what I will be wearing this weather-wise shy Saturday.

A few words on Mr Kilian himself for those of you who are not familiar with this brand and man yet. He is the grandson of the founder of LVMH Group and part of a family of cognac-makers. The House of Hennessy uses a term, “angels’ share” to describe the percentage that for unknown reasons evaporates from cognac cellars, an environment that was a natural part of Kilians growing up. This phenomenon led Kilian to the world of perfumes, and to writing a thesis on the semantics of odours and studies in communication. His career in perfumery began with training alongside the noses of Dior, Paco Rabanne, Alexander McQueen and Armani. Today he has his unique own brand and many devoted fans. I am one of them.
So. Time to get my rum and ambergris and go. I will share my reflections about the experience with you later. Have a fragrant Saturday.